January is a great time of year. Summer is in full swing, New Years resolutions are yet to be broken and the weekends are all about beach cricket and barbecues.
The property market is in hibernation, with most people spending the warmer months enjoying what their property has to offer, rather than worrying about finding a new one.
Balmy evenings are spent entertaining guests and enjoying the later daylight hours with dinners on patios and dips in the pool. However, not everyone is sitting back, peeling sunburn and shaking the sand out of their shoes.
In some of the hotter markets, the spring selling season ends with numerous frustrated buyers left in the lurch and counting the hours until open houses resume in the new year and they can get back out and hit the pavements.
Savvy buyers know that January is a great time to get the jump on the market, because there’s less competition for the properties that are actually available. Whether it’s a rental in a desirable area, or something for sale, you can find you stumble across a rare opportunity.
The other advantage is that you’re likely to be in by position of bargaining power, because most people would not choose to sell at that time of year, meaning the ones that are selling are likely to be motivated by a need to strike a deal.
Maybe they have suddenly been relocated at work, have come across financial difficulties, or have had a different change of situation. The sale could even be a mortgagee in possession, meaning the bank is selling a property that has been defaulted on and is only worried about recovering the money they loaned.
Suddenly, you become the Johnny or Judy on the spot, with good odds of scoring a bargain.
Tim McIntyre is the senior real estate reporter for the Daily Telegraph and News.com.au. Over the past decade, he has attained widespread knowledge of Australia’s many unique property markets and is an authority on all things buying, selling and investing. His commentary appears every Saturday in the Daily Telegraph Real Estate lift out, as well as online at news.com.au.